Edinburgh Rugby boss Sean Everitt has confirmed that Scotland full back Blair Kinghorn is in negotiations to sign for French giants Toulouse.
News broke in France this week that the 26-year-old could join the Top 14 side imminently but Everitt has named Kinghorn in his starting 15 to face Benetton in the URC on Friday night.
Senior coach Everitt has backed the player to deal with the distraction of his future being thrashed out but he also wants a quick decision on whether Kinghorn will remain in the capital or move to the continent before the end of the season.
Everitt said: “There has been a lot of speculation about Blair’s move to France which we are aware of and there are negotiations taking place.
“It probably is distracting for him during the week but this isn’t something that has come up overnight.
“These talks and rumours happened a couple of weeks back and he has still performed [for Edinburgh]. I don’t doubt his ability and his commitment to the club.
“He has been here for nine years, he has been a standout player over that period of time and he is extremely popular with Edinburgh. I don’t think he would put himself first and let the people down who have supported him throughout his career.”
Asked about when he expected the negotiations to be concluded, Everitt said: “We would like to have an answer in the near future, definitely. It impacts how we play the game, it impacts the depth of our squad.
“The right decision will be made which suits all three parties – Blair, Edinburgh and Scottish Rugby.”
Should Kinghorn complete the move to France, Everitt believes that one of the biggest rugby clubs in the world would be gaining a player he sees as potentially the best full back in the game.
Stade Toulousain, known as Toulouse or Le Stade for short, is the most successful team in European rugby history – winning five Champions Cups as well as being crowned champions of France 22 times.
Toulouse boasts a squad packed with international players, including France superstars Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack.
They also have Les Bleus number 15 Thomas Ramos and Italian star Ange Capuozzo, who Kinghorn will be vying against for starts should the transfer to Stade Ernest-Wallon come to fruition.
Edinburgh boss Everitt said: “I have said right from the start that [Blair] is a world class player and he can be the best in his position in the world.
“To replace a player of that quality is always going to be difficult but at the same time we have had youngsters waiting for an opportunity which is exciting.
“Toulouse have been one of the best clubs in the world for some time now. The quality of player they have there now is actually unbelievable.
“[Signing Kinghorn] will certainly strengthen them because of the way they want to play, and it would put down a statement that they want to win the Champions Cup, which they haven’t done for some time now.”
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